Tips for Landing a 2L Summer Job

It seems that OCIs are in full swing and 2Ls are already starting the job search process for next summer. For those of you looking for jobs for this coming summer, here are some tips to help you land your dream job.

First of all, be yourself. A lot of employers interview you only if they like your resume. So by the time you have a callback with them, or even the first interview, they already know you are smart and are capable of doing the work. They are now looking to make sure you fit in with the firm culture, and if you aren't yourself in the interview, they can tell. Recruiters know when you are faking or when you are only saying what you think they want you to say. During interviews, it is still good to talk about your experiences and what you will bring to the office. Just make sure you do so while being yourself.

Send thank you notes. To everyone. Seriously. They took time out of their busy day to meet you. The time they spent with you, if they work for a firm, is time that they could not bill. Even if you had a callback at a firm and talked with 12 different attorneys, you should write a thank you note to all of them. If you can add something personal, maybe they went to the law school you go to or you both are from the same hometown, that's great. If not, a standard thank you note is okay. Make sure to include that you are excited about the chance to potentially work at their firm.

Look professional. This means to wear a suit that fits, and for an interview, a dark color may be best (think black or navy with a white shirt). Don't wear too much jewelry or dark makeup. Make sure your hair looks professional too, whatever that means for you. Also, carry around a portfolio and make sure to have copies of your application materials just in case. Even while wearing a suit, make sure that you are comfortable. If you can't walk in heels, either practice before or wear flats. Make sure your suit isn't too tight as well.

Do your research. Make sure you know about the firm or employer you are interviewing with. Did they just win a highly publicized case? Are they about to merge with another firm or expand to a new market? Do they work with with any public interest groups? Ask about things like this. It shows that you are prepared and are truly interested in the employer. Also research the people who are interviewing you. Know a bit about them, what practice group or division they are in, where they went to law school and undergrad. Don't know too much about them though, because that can be creepy. A good rule is to know what you can find on their employer's website or their LinkedIn page. Anything more than that is too much.

Know what the firm does. For example, it is not smart to go into an interview with a firm that only does litigation and say you want to be a transactional attorney. They will wonder why you applied to them and may even question you about it. That can lead to some awkward moments if you have to say that you thought they had a corporate practice or if you have to unconvincingly say that while you prefer transactional work, you are also interested in litigation.

Be prepared to answer questions. Don't sound rehearsed, but having a rough idea of your answers to common interview questions is a good idea. In addition, be prepared for some tough questions. For example, every place I interviewed at asked me why I want to live in that city, even for my hometown! Make sure you have answers for these tough questions and that you are prepared for them. Another infamous one is when an interviewer asks about your worst grade. Know that this may come up, and make sure you are ready to be honest, but also to take your answer in the direction of what you learned from that grade and how you changed your study habits (also own up to the grade, and never blame the professor).

Use the career services office at your law school. They are here to help, and even if the reputation isn't the best, they still can assist you in your job search. Sometimes, you may have to develop a relationship with your advisor, but once you do, your advisor can open new doors for you.

As much as you can, enjoy it. Interviews are a unique chance to get to know the employer and people who work there. Ask any questions that you may have. Lastly, try not to worry too much. A recruiter once told me that she has always keeps a pile of resumes on her desk of people she was not able to hire at that time, but that she wanted to hire at some point. You never know when your resume may end up in that pile.


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